A recent paper by Lechtman et al (2011 Phys. Med. Biol. 56 4631-47) presented Monte Carlo modelling of gold nanoparticle dose modification. In it, they predict that the introduction of gold nanoparticles has the strongest effect with x-rays at kilovoltage energies, and that negligible increases in dose are expected at megavoltage energies. While these results are in agreement with others in the literature (including those produced by our group), the conclusion that '(goldnanoparticle) radiosensitization using a 6 MV photon source is not clinically feasible' appears to conflict with recently published experimental studies which have shown radiosensitization using 6 MV x-ray sources with relatively low gold concentrations. The increasing disparity between theoretical predictions of dose enhancement and experimental results in the field of gold nanoparticle radiosensitization suggests that, while the ability of gold nanoparticles to modify dose within a tumour volume is well understood, the resulting radiosensitization is not simply correlated with this measure. This highlights the need to validate theoretical predictions of this kind against experimental measurements, to ensure that the scenarios and values being modelled are meaningful within a therapeutic context.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology